b(l xmh in Nahum 1:2

Bryan Rocine brocine at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 3 22:27:42 EST 2000

Dear Clay,

I suggest that the construction B`L <....> has the idiomatic
sense "the epitomy of <....>," something like we say
(borrowed from Sadaam?), "the mother of all <....>" as in
"the mother of all wars."  See Gen 49:23, 2 Ki 1:8, Pro
18:9, 22:24, 24:8, 29:22, Ecc. 12:11.  The polysemy is
definitely worth mentioning!


you wrote:
> Greetings,
> I have spent the last few months doing a study of cosmic
combat motifs
> in the OT and NT. I am currently looking at Nahum 1:2-11.
Don't quite
> know  what to do with b(l xmh in Nah. 1:2. Looks like b(l
could be taken
> as a name or as a regular noun. If taken as a noun then we
have several
> translation options (lord, owner, etc.).
> I don't know Hebrew syntax well enough to determine if b(l
xmh could be
> taken as a chaistic parallel structure with nqm yhwh. If
we were to take
> it as a parallel structure then what impact would that
have on our
> understanding of b(l?
> Is it possible that our Prophet might have introduced
> polysemy with the word b(l? Given that b(l crops up here
in a cosmic
> combat context it is tempting to discover here something
more than the
> sense "owner or possessor." Can anyone give me reasons why
> temptation should be resisted?
> --
> Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
> Three Tree Point
> P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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